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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

Second Transitional Government of East Timor
Segundo Governo de Transicao de Timor-Leste
Pemerintahan Transisi Kedua Timor-Timur:

Government Homepage:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation:

A collection of recent media releases, reports, articles and news on the United Nations appointed, all East Timorese, Second Transitional Government of East Timor, sworn-in September 20th 2001.

This is not the Constitutional Assembly that the East Timorese people voted for on August 30th 2001. For information on the Constitutional Assembly:

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Up-Dated: Feb 16, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout

Contact info / Contactos  Updated Jan 31, 2002
News, Articles & Reports  Updated Feb 16, 2002

Government Contact info / Governo: Contactos

jan 25 SGTTL: Contactos - o Gabinete do Chefe
Informações de 25 janeiro
"Temos o prazer de informar que o Gabinete do Chefe do Segundo Governo de Transicao de Timor-Leste terah, a partir de 28 de Janeiro de 2002, os seguintes contactos: Telefone: (+ 670 390) 3339502 E-mail: "
Gabinete do Dr. Mari Alkatiri, Chefe do Segundo Governo de Transicao de Timor-Leste

Jan 25 STGET: Contact info for Office of Chief Minister  Info added Jan 25
"We are pleased to inform that as from 28 January 2002, you may contact the Office of the Chief Minister of the Second Transitional Government of East Timor via: Phone: (+ 670 390) 3339502 E-mail: "
Office of Mr. Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister, Second Transitional Government of East Timor

Jan 30 MFAC: Contact info for Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta  Info added Jan 31
Dr Jose Ramos-Horta is Senior Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
C/- Ms Caroline O’Brien
Media Liaison Officer - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Second Transitional Government East Timor
Telephone: +61 (0)417 804 298

Government Homepage:


Up-date / Atualiza:
Fri Jan 25, 2002
Mailing Address:

P.O. BOX 2436

Switchboard via Dili, East Timor: +670-390-312210
Switchboard via Darwin, Australia: +61-8-8942-2203
Switchboard via New York, USA: +1-212-963-0099
Switchboard via Brindisi, Italy: 169-5000

via Dili, East Timor: +670-390-322007/8
via Darwin, Australia: +61-8-8946-3901/2
via New York, USA: +1-212-963-2180

For email addresses, please visit the departmental web sites.

News, Articles & Reports

Feb 15 MFAC: Upcoming meetings with Indonesia  Release added Feb 16
“The forthcoming meetings in Jakarta, the bilateral meetings between East Timor and Indonesia and the trilateral between East Timor, Indonesia and Australia, are a milestone both in the history of East Timor and in Regional relations. The East Timorese side pledges that, as a new country in the region, that we will work constructively with our neighbours to promote peace, stability and cooperation in this part of the world.” Dr Ramos-Horta

Jan 31 UN: Security Council extends mandate to 20 May 2002  Resolution added Feb 1
"Welcoming the strenuous efforts of the Second Transitional Government and people of East Timor to reach independence by 20 May 2002, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) until that date. ... Looking forward to receiving further specific proposals from the Secretary-General for the mandate and structure for a successor United Nations mission after independence at least one month before the date of independence," United Nations Security Council

Jan 30 MFAC: Horta Addresses UN Security Council  Release added Jan 31
"Indeed, we are confident that our people have the capacity to govern ourselves and to establish and maintain a sustainable economy. This will all develop gradually. The country does not as yet have the means to support itself without assistance. In time, there will be revenues from oil and gas exploitation. Tourism will also thrive once we have created the necessary infrastructure and facilities. But in the short term, East Timor will need all the assistance it can get to build up its fragile economy. In conclusion Mr. President, I earnestly request, on behalf of the Second Transitional Government and the entire country that this Council endorse the concept of a successor mission, which has been carefully thought out and planned by my colleagues at UNTAET. In this way, the gains that have resulted from your tremendous commitment to East Timor so far will be consolidated and maintained in the crucial first years of Independence." Dr Jose Ramos-Horta is Senior Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Second Transitional Government East Timor

Jan 30 MFAC: Ramos-Horta on Fretilin  Release added Feb 1
"I was very impressed by the moral and political courage of the current Fretilin leadership in their decision to set up, early last year, its own investigation to establish the facts about what happened in the past. ... I am impressed by the maturity that all political parties have shown thus far. The democratic elections of August 30, 2001, which included 16 political parties, passed without one single incident, this is the result of the maturity displayed by the leadership of all 16 parties, and credit must go to impartial East Timorese leaders such as Xanana Gusmao and Bishop Belo for their guidance.” Dr Jose Ramos-Horta is Senior Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Second Transitional Government East Timor

Jan 21 affet: Selling E.Timor Short: Timor Sea gas project decision postponed  Statement added Jan 22
"At present East Timor is rushing towards Independence on May 20th, and under such circumstances many will want to finalise various negotiations. Yet this has its dangers. A Constitution has not been determined, nor the Constituent Assembly transformed into a National Parliament. All members lack experience in government. This is fraught with danger. ... Can the present East Timor government, and any future East Timor government, afford to throwaway a massive/huge potential income source without proper study or legal testing? If they can, what’s going on? The new East Timor parliament should withhold endorsement of the present arrangements, which in particular give East Timor only 20% of Greater Sunrise, until proper study and legal testing is done." Rob Wesley-Smith, australians for a free east timor, darwin

Jan 12 STGET: Alkatiri on occasion of Offering of 2 Patrol Boats  Speech added Jan 16
"The East Timorese have become accustomed to looking towards the sea as a potential source of income only from petroleum and gas. However, the wealth of our country and its potential to diversify its income stream is far wider. We need to further develop the fishery sector and build our enforcement capacity through the patrolling of our coastal waters. At the same time we will also be able to avoid the illegal exploration of our resources without the benefit to our People." Mr. Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister, Second Transitional Government of East Timor

Jan 11 JP: ETimor’s patience wears thin over rights tribunal  News added Jan 15
"The East Timor transitional government is considering turning to an international tribunal due to the repeated delays in the trial of officers allegedly involved in the 1999 human rights abuses in the former territory. Philipe Rodriguez of the East Timor Public Administration’s Department of Foreign Affairs said in Jakarta on Thursday that the East Timor people’s wish to see the perpetrators taken to the court of justice has not materialized." Tiarma Siboro, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

December 2001 ETSG Team: Transformation of Constituent Assembly into Legislative Assembly: Do we need a new election?  Seminar Proceedings added Jan 4
"As the Constituent Assembly moving swiftly to finalize and approve the Constitution of East Timor, debates about their transformation into Legislative Assembly has already taken place. Mr. Xanana Gusmao, East Timor’s national leader began addressing the issue publicly by arguing that East Timor needs a new election to elect the members of the Legislative Assembly. The elections for the Legislative Assembly can be done together with presidential elections in 2002. The reaction against that option was mixed. Mr. Mari Alkatiri, Chief-Minister in Second Transitional Cabinet and Secretary General of Fretilin, the majority party in the Constituent Assembly and Mr. Francisco Guterres, Lu-Olo, President of Fretilin and the Constituent Assembly disagreed. They argue that East Timorese need more funding to rebuild their houses and providing food for their families instead of wasting money in new elections. ... " ETSG Team: Paulino Guterres, BA; Francisco da Costa Guterres, MA; Estanislau de Sousa Saldanha, M.Tech; Helder da Costa, Ph.D; João M. Saldanha, Ph.D

Bahasa Indonesia/Malay:
Desember 2001 BLH: Tinjauan Tentang Bantuan Bilateral untuk Timor Lorosa’e
Artikel ditambahkan tanggal 1 Januari 2002
"Selama dua tahun ini, bantuan multilateral maupun bilateral telah diberikan kepada Timor Lorosa’e. Timor Lorosa’e masih belum mempunyai sebuah pemerintah yang merdeka, tetapi saat ini diperintah oleh sebuah lembaga multilateral, Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa. Hal ini mengaburkan perbedaan antara bantuan bilateral dan multilateral. Definisi kerja dari La’o Hamutuk tentang bantuan bilateral di sini meliputi semua sumbangan sukarela dari pemerintah asing yang secara khusus diperuntukkan bagi Timor Lorosa’e. Ini termasuk bantuan yang diberikan kepada lembaga-lembaga nasional, seperti Pemerintahan Transisi ETTA dan ETPA, atau kepada NGO-NGO lokal." La'o Hamutuk: Institut Pemantau dan Analisis Rekonstruksi Timor Timur

December UNTAET: 2nd Tranisitional Government (Fact Sheets 3&4)  Info added Jan 1
"* The Transitional Government comprises a Chief Minister [Dr. Marí Bin Amude Alkatiri, Fretilin], ten Ministers, seven Vice-Ministers and three Secretaries of State. The Transitional Government is supported by a number of high-level East Timorese advisors who report to the Chief Minister. * As the Transitional Government’s representative body, the Council of Ministers collectively takes the most significant decisions of the Transitional Government on policy and financial matters, under the Transitional Administrator’s [Sergio Vieira de Mello] ultimate authority and in close consultation with him. The Transitional Government will also recommend to the Transitional Administrator the promulgation of legislation in close consultation with the Transitional Administrator, who retains the ultimate executive and legislative authority. [Includes a list of the members of the Second East Timor Transitional Government]" UNTAET Press Office

December UNTAET: Timor Sea (Fact Sheet 18)  Info added Dec 31
"Much progress has been made in recent talks between East Timor and representatives of petroleum companies on outstanding issues. East Timor believes that a successful outcome in this regard can be achieved soon. The Second Transitional Government of East Timor, sworn in on 20 September, has indicated its willingness to ensure that East Timor’s tax regime provides oil companies with a fair rate of return. The Government has stressed the great importance to East Timor of gas development in the Timor Sea as a major source of future revenues." Catherine McKenna & Jonathan Morrow, UNTAET Press Office

Nov 19 Aust: Timor venture on hold  Article added Nov 20
"Development of the vast Sunrise gas reserves in the Timor Sea has been delayed at least two years. A meeting of joint venture participants in Perth on Friday failed to agree on a commercial arrangement for development. ... News of the delay comes as senior Australian government officials prepare to travel to Dili for a round of talks with the new East Timorese Government, in a bid to resolve differences over the Timor Sea Arrangement signed in July." Nigel Wilson

October 2001 LHB: Commission for Reception, Truth & Reconciliation  Overview added Nov 9
"There are concerns that the United Nations, donor governments, or even the government of East Timor will use the existence of the CRTR as an excuse for not moving forward to prosecute those who committed Serious Crimes, even though such crimes are outside the scope of the Commission. A new government, faced with budgetary problems as well as daunting demands and pressures (national and international) might be tempted to lower the priority of criminal prosecutions, especially in light of limited resources and experience." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Oct 31 UN: SC Endorses Proposal to Declare ETimor Independence 20 May  Statement added Nov 6
"The Security Council this afternoon welcomed the political progress achieved to date towards establishing an independent East Timorese State, and endorsed the recommendation by the Constituent Assembly of the Territory that independence be declared on 20 May 2002. ... Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister of the Second Transitional Government of East Timor, stressed the importance of institution-building and the gradual transfer of administrative functions to East Timorese civil servants." U.N. Security Council

Oct 27 RDP: Timorese leader rejects fresh general elections after independence  Interview added Oct 31
"[Alkatiri] I can assure you that we will not have general elections. I am saying this on behalf of the party which holds the majority in the constituent assembly. [FRETILIN] ... [Reporter] Timor will be independent from 20 May [2002]. Are you planning to keep the provisional government? [Alkatiri] Only until 20 May. ... I am a member of the constituent assembly, an elected and sovereign body, and it will be the assembly that shall decide this. ... when we laid down the electoral law, and when we discussed these elections, discussions that also took place at the CNRT [the National Council of the Timorese Resistance, now defunct], it was decided that the constituent assembly would become a legislative and parliamentary assembly."

Bahasa Indonesia:
Okt 25 FAETTA: Indonesian graves safe in East Timor
Keterangan Media ditambahkan tanggal 30 Oktober
"Surat kabar Jakarta Post menyampaikan, "Penduduk Timor-Timur meminta dengan paksa supaya penguasa-penguasa Indonesia mengali dan memindahkan tulang-tulang yang tersisa ke tanah Indonesia." Departemen Luar Negeri, dan Pemerintah Timor-Timur berturut-turut menyangkal kalau mereka belum pernah dengan paksa meminta hal semacam itu. Penguasa-penguasa Indonesia secara langsung maupun tidak langsung belum pernah menanyakan masalah ini kepada Departemen Luar Negeri. Hal ini adalah pandangan dari pengamat-pengamat politik di Timor-Timur kalau kuburan-kuburan pejuang Indonesia, dan warga penduduk Indonesia lainnya yang dimakamkan di Timor-Timur haruslah dihormati selayaknya dengan makam yang lainnya, diluar dari sejarah dan alasan politik." Departemen Luar Negeri dan Kerjasama, Pemerintahan Transisi Kedua Timor-Timur

Oct 25 FAETTA: Indonesian graves safe in East Timor  Release added Oct 30
"The Jakarta Post story stated, “The East Timorese demanded that the Indonesian authorities exhume all the graves and remove the remains to Indonesian territory.” The Foreign Ministry, and the Government of East Timor categorically deny that there has been such a demand. ... It is the view of the East Timorese political leaders that the graves of Indonesian soldiers, and other Indonesian citizens buried in East Timor are sites that must be respected like any other burial site, regardless of the historical and political roots." Department of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Second Transitional Government East Timor

Oct 24 UNTAET: Two New Institutions to Fight Poverty Approved  News added Oct 30
"The East Timorese Council of Ministers today approved the creation of two new institutions, a Foundation for the Reduction of Poverty in East Timor and a Society for Micro-finance in East Timor, following agreements between UNTAET and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed in December 2000." United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

Oct 24 ET NGOs: Urgent Steps Needed to Establish Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"The situation is made even more critical by the coming end of the UNTAET mission. Under the stewardship of UNTAET was the time when the impunity of the past was needed to be replaced by the rule of law and justice, necessary for the nation building process of and reconciliation for East Timor. Instead, we are facing the dark reality of such impunity characterizing our future." Yayasan HAK; Lao Hamutuk; FOKUPERS; Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace and Development Kdadalak Sulimutu Institute (KSI); Working Group for Electoral Education (KKPP); Judicial System Monitoring Project (JSMP); East Timor Student Solidarity Council (ETSC); Student Solidarity Council of Oe-Cusse; Yayasan Timor Nabilan; Nove-Nove Survivers Group (Maliana); NGO Forum

Oct 24 Internationals in ET write UN Security Council on Justice  Letter added Oct 27
"We are writing as citizens of many countries who currently reside in East Timor (Timor Lorosa’e), working with a variety of organizations. ... After two years, the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor is winding down. East Timor will be independent soon. It would compound the crimes already committed here if this tiny, poor nation which has endured so much terror is left on its own to cope with criminals who still hold positions of power in its huge neighbor. The period of U.N. responsibility for East Timor must leave a legacy of justice and accountability if East Timor is to succeed as a member of the world community." J Conway (Asia-Pacific Support Collective); Sr. B Guhit (Bishop Belo’s Center for Peace & Development); J Gunter; C Serreira e Freire (Oikos); M Hachisuka (La’o Hamutuk); T Irawati (FORTILOS); V Joshi (LH); N Katjasungkana (FORTILOS); I Lempp; J Newton (Caritas Australia); S Martin (CA); H McCaughey (Australian Volunteers International); C Ranheim (Judicial Systems Monitoring Programme); S Rosa; C Scheiner (International Federation for East Timor); P Sexton (LH); A de Sousa (LH); J Sternberg

Sep 20 Alkatiri: Swearing-in Ceremony of Members of the Transitional Government  Speech added Sep 22
"My last words are addressed to my dear fellow countrymen and women. Today, as we take up this responsibility, we wish to express our gratitude for your courage, determination and unwavering capacity to resist throughout the most difficult years of our history. We have achieved the goal to free our Homeland and today we are a step closer to achieving political, economic and social freedom. We urge you to remain involved and to participate in the rebuilding of our country and ask for your continued commitment and involvement in the development of our Nation. Before you and in the memory of our heroes fallen for the liberation of our Homeland, we humbly state that all our energy, skills and knowledge will be concentrated in the ultimate goal of this Government: to Serve you, the People of East Timor!" Mari Alkatiri, Head of Government, East Timor

Sep 20 FAETTA: Dr Ramos-Horta Hounored to Serve East Timor  Release added Sep 22
“It is an honor and my duty to serve the people of East Timor. A people the have suffered immensely, shown enormous courage and tenacity, resilience and creativity, and yet are asking so little. ... I hope that I can contribute to help improve the lives of the poorest of the poor.” Dr. Ramos-Horta

Sep 20 UNTAET: Second Transitional Government of East Timor  List of appointments added Sep 21
Flow chart of new government structure, page 3 of PDF file [125k]:

Sep 20 KY: ETimor announces cabinet lineup  News added Sep 21
"U.N. Transitional Administrator in East Timor Sergio Vieira de Mello, announcing the lineup, said the cabinet has 10 ministers, three secretaries of state and seven vice ministers. It consists of nine representatives from the Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of East Timor (Fretilin), two members of the Democratic Party, Fretilin’s closest rival, and nine members not affiliated with any party. De Mello said they were selected “not on the basis of party nominations but on the basis of their individual competence.” The nine politically independent figures in the cabinet, he said, were chosen “because of their proven sectoral expertise and their demonstrated dedication and patriotism with as broad a geographical representation as was possible.” " Christine T. Tjandraningsih

Sep 20 UNTAET: New East Timorese Government Sworn-In  Briefing added Sep 28
"Following the elections, SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello appointed Alkatiri who subsequently assisted him in forming the new Government. Consultations with the presidents of the other three parties that received the largest number of votes were conducted, as well as with other Timorese personalities." UNTAET
"You were appointed because I believe you will place national interest above your own individual or party interests, ... We are determined that this Government be an example in restoring the values and ethics of our society. What is being asked of you is total transparency, unconditional dedication and diligence to serve the nation.” Fretilin Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri, Chief Minister

Sep 19 UNTAET: New East Timorese Government Established Tomorrow  Briefing added Sep 25
"The new all-East Timorese Council of Ministers of the Second Transitional Government, which will replace the current Transitional Cabinet, will be sworn-in tomorrow morning in Dili. This second Transitional Government and its Council of Ministers will govern East Timor during the remaining transitional period before the independence of a democratic and sovereign state. ... all of this in close consultation with the Transitional Administrator [Sergio Vieira de Mello] who retains the ultimate executive and legislative authority ... Furthermore, a Public Administration of East Timor will be formally established, implementing the programs and policies of the Council of Ministers, a body now totally composed of Timorese members, broadly reflecting the results of the election that took place on 30 August." UNTAET Daily Briefing

Sep 19 UNTAET/REG/2001/28: Establishing Council of Ministers  Regulations added Sep 25
"The Special Representative of the Secretary-General  (hereinafter: Transitional Administrator [Sergio Vieira de Mello]), ... Taking into account United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) Regulation No. 1999/1 of 27 November 1999 on the Authority of the Transitional Administration in East Timor, Taking into account the results of the election of a Constituent Assembly to prepare a Constitution for an independent and democratic East Timor, For the purpose of establishing the Council of Ministers, with the aim of effectively governing East Timor during the transitional period, and For the further purpose of establishing the East Timor Public Administration, with the aim of implementing the laws of East Timor, and the programs and policies of the Council of Ministers, Promulgates the following: ... " UNTAET

Sep 13 IFET: Constituent Assembly winners names and parties  List added Sep 25
"The following is the officially certified list of East Timorese who were elected to the Constituent Assembly on the August 30 ballot. Some of these people will probably be selected to serve in the cabinet [of the second transitional government], in which case they [will probably] resign from the Assembly. The next-ranking person on the slate of the party they were elected under will fill the vacancy." Charlie Scheiner, U.N. Representative International Federation for East Timor (IFET)

Jun 29 SMH: People to have their say - but so will the UN  News added June 29
"The United Nations has told the people of East Timor they will be virtually self-governing from September 15 - but that the UN will decide who will form the government. The head of the UN administration in the country, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, appealed yesterday to political parties to accept a government of national unity after elections on August 30 for a constituent assembly, or parliament. He indicated he had the right to appoint such a government, although he added that the new Cabinet would “broadly reflect” the results of the elections. ... The Cabinet would include most if not all of the parties elected to the assembly and could include other “eminent” but non-elected members. Within 90 days, the 88-seat assembly will draft and adopt the first constitution for an independent East Timor. Independence would be granted after the constitution was approved, and any further elections needed were held, Mr Vieira de Mello said. He reminded national council members that until independence he would retain ultimate executive authority under a UN Security Council resolution." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

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